Pioneering Geologist from 1870's Celebrated on Oregon Coast
Published 06/06/2015 at 4:26 PM PDT
(Newport, Oregon) – Even in the dim and distant past of the central Oregon coast's tourism industry, there was an interest in the geology of the area. One Irish man cast new light on this burgeoning field way back in the 1870's, and on June 14, Newport's Pacific Maritime Heritage Center will bring that man to light. (Above: Newport's Nye Beach in ancient times, courtesy Lincoln County Historical Socieity).
It's a presentation on famed geologist Thomas Condon, a resident of the Columbia Gorge who taught about rocks and fossils in Nye Beach periodically. The talk is given on June 14 by Bob Hart, executive director of the Lane County Historical Society. It goes from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The pioneering geologist Condon had a local connection. He taught “SEA Classes” at Nye Beach, lecturing about Oregon coast fossils and geological features for Oregon’s Summer Education Association.
Thomas Condon (1822–1907) minister, geologist, and paleontologist, immigrated from Ireland in 1833. After graduating from theological seminary in 1852, he traveled to Oregon. While working as a minister at The Dalles, he became interested in fossils. Condon found fossilized camels and other animals, and many of his discoveries are in the present-day John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Condon provided many specimens to major museums.
Condon became Oregon’s first State Geologist in 1872, then University of Oregon’s first professor of geology. In 1902 he wrote, The Two Islands and What Came of Them, a geology book about two widely separated regions of Oregon containing itsoldest rocks, the Klamath Mountains and the Blue Mountains.
Bob Hart, an avid history "junkie," has worked in presentation of history and historic sites since 1977. Author of several historical articles, Bob has also authored or co-written five nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, and contributed to major studies of Oregon’s history.
Admission to this event is free for members, and $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call (541) 265-7509.
The Lincoln County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that preserves and shares Lincoln County’s history. Visit the Burrows House Museum, 545 SW Ninth Street in Newport, and the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, 333 SE Bay Blvd. in Newport. Burrows House admission is by donation. Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is $5 for adults, children 12 and under admitted free. Both museums are open 11 am to 4 pm Thursday through Sunday. www.oregoncoasthistory.org
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